Open third ventriculostomy (OTV) was performed on 4 infants with noncommunicating hydrocephalus and intractable shunt infections. All patients were resistant or relapsed after treatment with intravenous and intraventricular antibiotics along with change of the shunt apparatus. We performed phase-contrast cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for preoperative and postoperative evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow at the aqueduct of Sylvius. All patients required a second OTV approximately 3 weeks after the first OTV due to closure of the patency. Our experience led us to view OTV as an unsuccessful procedure in infantile noncommmunicating hydrocephalus due to an insufficiently developed subarachnoid space. The patients' data, operative findings and probable causes of failure are presented here.